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Style Spotlight: Hospitals Exhibit Art of Healing

October 2012 | BY | Fall 2012

Robert Israel's
Robert Israel created 11 sculptures for the Bloomberg Children’s Center, including this one, called “Ostrich.”

Two of the newest venues for art aren’t in museums. They’re in hospitals.

As part of a $1.1 billion addition to the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., a curator and more than 70 artists placed more than 500 pieces of art in public spaces and in patient rooms. Huge sculptured animals by artist and set designer Robert Israel, a 250,000-square-foot exterior curtain wall by Spencer Finch, and Jim Boyd’s painted window shades that recall the painted screens of Baltimore tradition are among the works in the new Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center. There are also dioramas by Jennifer Strunge, along with sculptures and sculptural furniture.

The children’s center, named for the mother of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, replaces a former facility. Hopkins Hospital says the art helps the new buildings “provide a welcoming and caring environment to advance the healing process.”

More than 240 art works by such celebrated artists as Michele Oka Doner and Paul Villinski adorn the main lobby, 12-story inpatient tower and eight-story outpatient clinic at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., the result of a partnership with the University of Michigan’s Museum of Art.

The art, from neon rainbows to helping-hand mosaics and nature-related figures on the floors, covers every public surface. The $1.8 million collection was funded through private donations.

“Art has always been a large part of the culture at Mott,” said Jan Brandon, co-chair of the Grand Opening Committee, citing the art in the building as well as art therapy programs. To view a slideshow of the collection, go to their Flickr Photo Stream.

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